Wednesday, June 27, 2012

C&C Style Club:Vol.1, Carl Rivers

Hello everyone.

After much thought, I have decided to start a new series called "Chinos & Cheesecake Style Club". It will feature guys who I have come in contact with who I feel have a passion for getting dressed in the morning. Guys who take pride in what they do and don't take it for granted. They will go through a photo shoot and an interview with me so that they can express the all-important method to their madness. If you know of anyone who you feel is deserving of the "C&C Style Club", then feel free to email me some pictures and some basic information to see if they're qualified to be a part.

Now, with that being said, allow me you properly introduce you guys to my new friend, Carl Rivers. I gave him somewhat of a soft introduction about a month ago when I spotted him working in JCrew. I was very pleased with his appearance so I snapped a simple camerphone picture and distributed it to my social media outlets. After that we were able to find a date on the calendar to meet up. And here is what came of it. Enjoy!

Carl Rivers JR.
24 years old
JCrew Salesman
Resides in Goose Creek, SC

All photos taken in Downtown District, Charleston, SC
Chinos & Cheesecake: Who and what inspires your style?

Carl Rivers: It all started with me watching how my mom would get dressed when we would go to church or special events like weddings and balls. Also my dad, to see the way he and his brothers dressed. They always wore the best of things from Italy. My dad and his brothers were all in the military so they would go overseas and come back with such extravagant expensive stuff. At the time I really wasn't old enough to appreciate it but I definitely knew what style and quality looked like. As far as what inspires me, it's just who I am. When I wake up, deciding on what I'm going to put on. I could feel like a sneakerhead, prepster, hipster, or really just whatever I'm in the mood for. Thats what inspires me.

C&C: Currently, what is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

CR: [Laughs] I'm mad you did that to me man. Its very hard to pick out a favorite piece in my closet. Wow, there are just so many things, they're all special to me. I think of them as people.

C&C: Ok, so who's your favorite person right now?

CR: [Laughs] Uhhh, wow. Well there are a lot of pieces that I haven't worn yet so there's a part of my closet that's just a bunch of tags. I would probably have to go with my Brunello Cucinelli sweaters because my favorite seasons are Fall and Winter. I have a lot of shirts by Canali. Things by Elizabeth and James stuff. As far as shoes, I'm a Cole Haan enthusiast, Johnston and Murphy, Bostonian Florentine Special Collections. Stuff like that. I don't know, its just hard to pick one thing so I'll just say everything because they all really mean something special to me.

C&C: 3 words that describe your style?

CR: Clean, classic, and for the last one I'm going to have to go with cool. The 3 C's.

C&C: What would be your dream job?

CR: Originally my dream was to be the Creative Director of YSL. Its my favorite designer and to be a director there to would mean to follow in the footsteps of Tom Ford who is one of the fashion greats. But now I would just like to have my own styling company one day and have my own clothing line. But if I ever were to be in charge of design at YSL, I definitely would not complain.

C&C: So do you have a special routine to getting dressed?

CR: Not really. Well sometimes I may plan an outfit around my shoes but most times an idea just pops into my head for what I want to wear that day. I try not to plan. They say you can't plan fashion. But I mean, I think of so many thoughts during the day. Like when I'm at work, sometimes I just stare off into space and I just think of different outfits and different color combinations. I feel like my brain is Pandora's Box sometimes.[Laughs]

C&C: What do you love about fashion?

CR: I love the self expression. Fashion is your business card. I've heard the saying "You can never be overeducated or overdressed". CEO's of businesses, they look at what you wear. If you're clean cut then it shows you care about your work and take pride in the company more, But if your clothes are ill-fitting or just all-around off then they would feel like you didn't care about your work either. When I come up with an outfit, I feel like I'm doing a painting in my head. Its not always about wearing a lot of expensive clothes. It should be a combination of high and low pieces. Thats when style comes in to play.

C&C: Is there anything you dislike about fashion?

CR: [Thinking] A lot of people think you have to be a certain size to be in fashion. Thats not true. You don't have to be skinny and tall. Professional athletes have bigger bodies but they're still able to look nice. Its just about understanding your body and knowing what to wear for your body type. Sometimes fashion lines put that down and make you feel like you have to be small but I don't think that's true. Also the materialism. I think when you remove that then you get into the beauty side of fashion. It's not about the name inside your coat or inside your shoes. It should just be about what you love. You are your own creator. You are your own painter.

C&C: So, tell me about one mistake that you have made. A time when you were out and about and you thought "You know what? I really don't like what I have on right now." But its too late for you to change. Tell me a story about when thats happened.

CR: Um, I don't know. Usually it would be an issue of fit. Because I'm a small guy so I usually wear a small or extra small. I just depends on the brand. That's another thing. When you buy clothes, you always have to try them on. That's the number one rule that I see people break. I see it at my job all the time. They're like "I don't wanna try it on" and the next day you see the same exact person returning it and I'm like " You should have tried it on". But yea there was a time when I had on a shirt that was a small but it actually fit like a medium or large. I was like "Are you serious? I feel like I'm drowning in this." [Heavy laughter] So I did have to find a v-neck sweater to put on to hide it.

C&C: Let's say your about to go on a trip. Would you consider yourself an efficient packer or do you tend to overpack?

CR: This is a funny question. [Laughs] Well, my girlfriend would say that I overpack. Definitely. Yea I guess I tend to pack a lot of stuff. I guess it's because I'm not a millionaire yet who could just pack one thing and when I get there I could just buy whatever I wanted. But I can't do that yet so I have to take what I can. So yes I am an overpacker. That is one of my faults but I do plan to change that eventually.

C&C: What are 3 things that are on your want list?

CR: 3 list is so long! [Laughs]

C&C: What's your top 3?

CR: Let's see. A trench coat. There's one by Saks that I really like. Um, well right now is a great time to buy a lot of winter stuff. Thats all I have on my list right now. So probably a lambswool shawl-collar cardigan. Lastly, I have been wanting to buy a pair of brogue wingtip boots or Red Wing boots. The Red Wings have been on my list for about 2 years now so hopefully I can get those soon. So yea, I'm really focused on Fall and Winter things right now.

C&C: Let's say your house is burning down. You only have one duffel bag that can fit 5 clothing items. What are you going to put in that bag that will get you through the next month?

CR: Let's see. OK...OK..........OK...First I would grab a pair of chinos. It would be in a versatile color like navy or khaki. Although I love colors like yellow and pink, they don't go with everything. Probably my saddle shoes. Definitely that. That's 2. A cardigan. A cotton cardigan is good. Depending on the month you can layer it in the Winter or use it as something light in the Summer. Gingham shirt. It's easy to match with things. I would say grey or blue. And probably...what am I forgetting? A tie. A navy silk tie. I feel like they go with everything. It's the easiest go-to tie. It's definitely an essential.

C&C: Anytime I travel, and I have to wear a tie multiple times. I just bring one tie. My navy knit tie. Navy just goes with everything.

CR: [Laughs] Exactly!!!

C&C: Go back to high school. How has your style changed from then up to now?
CR: Bigtime!! I didn't dress anything like I do now. Back then I was more urban. If you look at the Carl from Stratford High School compared to the Carl now, it's totally different. It's really just been about finding out who I am and what looks good on me. When you feel good about yourself, you accomplish so much more. And so many doors are opened when you dress well. If you were to walk by the old me just walking down the street, you would probably shake your head.[Laughs] Even though back then I wore quality urban stuff. But still I don't plan on going back. EVER.

C&C: What are your hobbies and interests?

CR: Shopping. 24/7. Clothing. Everything. I breathe fashion. I like to catch a movie. I'm a dinner and a movie kind of guy. I was never really the club type. Even when I was in college I never went to clubs. I spend most of my time off with my girlfriend or my family or my friends. I like documentaries. They don't have to be just about fashion. It could be about Greek mythology, or water irrigation in Southeast Asia. [Laughing] It could be about anything. I just love natural knowledge. I love music. I don't discriminate against anything. Well I really don't do heavy rock. I do like 80's rock like Guns-n-Roses and Poison. I listen to hip hop. I'm a big Jay-Z and Kanye West fan. I classical music like Mozart and Bach, stuff like that. Jazz. I like art. I'm a Monet and Rembrandt fan. Just culture in general. I would say I'm the most cultured guy to never travel outside of the U.S. [Laughs] But I do plan to. There are a lot of places I want to go before I take my last breath.

C&C: Tell me something about you that I wouldn't be able to tell by looking at you.

CR: You know, I figured this question was coming up. Um, you know, I'm pretty self conscious. A lot of people don't know that about me. I just think of myself as the average dresser. People see me walking down the street and they just assume I'm cocky but I'm far from it. I just feel privileged and humbled to be on this side of fashion. I just want to get my foot in the door. No matter how much I know about fashion. Anytime someone gives me a compliment or an opportunity like you have. I'm just honored.

Short Sleeved Button Down Shirt~Stapleford, Jeans~JCrew, Bow Tie~Haspel, Saddle Shoes~Bass, Suspenders~Gilmore, Sunglasses~Urban Outfitters, Belt~JCrew, Bracelets~Black Market Minerals, Watch~Timex

C&C: I know earlier you said that Fall and Winter was your favorite seasons. Why is that?

CR: I love the burly feeling of it. I love texture. The wools and tweeds. The heavy clothing and the different patterns. I feel you can dress better with it. Overcoats and scarfs. The accessories are just so much more luxe and lavish. The racing gloves, the wool socks. I mean all the way down to the socks.

C&C: We need to do another shoot in the Winter.

CR: [Heavy laughing] Yea man we definitely do. Definitely. There's just so much to choose from in the Winter. I just love layering. You can do maybe a gingham shirt with maybe a henley on top. And you can put a vest over it if you want to or maybe a cashmere sweater if you want. Then you could do a pea coat. Any type of coat. That's why I love it. Which is weird coming from South Carolina. I don't know exactly what cold cold is yet but I just love it man.

Button Down Collar Oxford~JCrew, Tie~Obella, Trousers~JCrew, Unconstructed Blazer~Merona, Alligator Skin Belt~Mundi, Loafers~Cole Haan, Pocket Square~Brooks Brothers, Watch~Timex, Sunglasses~Urban Outfitters, Tie Clip~Swank, Bracelets~Black Market Minerals

C&C: Last question. What is your favorite stylish movie.

CR: Ahhh...Its pretty hard to choose. Most would say "Oceans 11" or something like that. Umm, I would say "Devil Wears Prada". That's my favorite movie. Me and my girlfriend both love it. I know its like a chick flick but I know it word for word. Can't think of any others. Well I like movies from the past. People like Cary Grant, or 007 with Sean Connery, Peter Morris. Stuff like that. There are so many stars that I follow that dress well. Like Ryan Gosling. I love the way he dresses. It's great for young Hollywood. Who else would I choose? Leonardo Dicaprio is very well dressed. Actually,[Face lights up] I can't wait for "The Great Gatsby". I'm so excited for it in December.

C&C: Um, have you seen the original?

CR: Yes.

C&C: So, whenever the trailer first came out there was this loud cry of blasphemy. Like "what have they done to this classic?" They, for lack of a better word "hip-hop-tized" it. What do you think about it? Well I know you said you were excited about it. But I mean, to me, the first one came out in '74 so its now 38 years later, so I mean...

CR: I feel like with films today, to have a blockbuster you have to produce what will draw in people to watch the movie. I know all across America, we've been required to read it in schools. It's like a timeless classic. But I think if they made it just like the one in the past then people wouldn't really be excited about it. It's taken producers so long to come up with it and shoot it and edit it. So I feel like if you have people waiting for so long then you have to have something that will draw them in. With the technology of today and the fashion of today, a lot of us guys who idolize Menswear get to see it in more current fashion, in better colors. I think it's going to be much better. I think it's going to be a hit. With Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Maguire, and what Brooks Brothers did by creating all the outfits. They did a fine and fabulous job. I can't wait for it. Especially if you're into fashion. Yea, the roaring 20's. Let's get back to that. I always thought that the gentleman was destroyed when they created jeans and a t-shirt. But if you look at it now, the modern gentleman, we've taken that back. We wear jeans with a blazer. Or we wear t-shirts with a blazer or a vest or suspenders. They can throw a million things at us to try and kill fashion. But we'll just redo it. It's just our gentleman nature to redo it. And do it better.

Gingham Shirt~Jcrew, Chino Shorts~JCrew, Denim Jacket~Tommy Hilfiger, Saddle Shoes~Bass, Pocket Square~Geoffrey Beene, Belt~JCrew, Bracelets~Black Market Minerals, Watch~Timex, Flowers~Saks Fifth Avenue

Monday, June 25, 2012

Free and Flowy

Blouse~Equipment Femme, Trousers~H&M, Shoes~Dolce Vita, Sunglasses~House of Harlow,  Shoulder Bag~Rebecca Minkoff

Whenever I see looks like this, I'm reminded of the other element of fit. Because you see, It's not always about tailored form-fitting pieces. But when executed properly, a flowy blouse can do wonders for you. Just be sure to pair it with a tailored-fit trouser so that there can be some contrast. And visa-versa, if you're wearing full cut trousers, you should have a top that fits closer to the body.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Game. Set. Match!!!

The French Open has come and gone and we are now on the verge of one my most anticipated sporting events of the year. Nope, I'm not talking about the NBA Finals. Not the College World Series either. It's time for Wimbledon. The 2-week long tennis tournament that takes place across the pond in England. Every year starting in the end of June and going through the beginning of July, the world's best players head to the All England Club to try and etch their name into history. 

My dad was the one who originally got me into tennis. Back in the 90's when the household names were Agassi, Sampras, and Graf. And then into the 2000's when 2 black girls from Compton just came and shut everything down. It was a great time to be following tennis. 

But what separated Wimbledon from the other tournaments? 1. Its played on grass, which is the surface that the game originated on even though there aren't many still around today. 2. There's an "all-white" dress code for the players, which I think turns it into a very chic and classy event. And 3. It's the oldest tennis tournament in the world. And if you know me then you know I love a place with some history behind it.

So if tennis is a sport you follow then gear up and get excited. Or if you're unfamiliar with the sport, check it out. Its definitely worth a look. If nothing more than to hear the soothing accents of the British commentators.  

Photos taken at Azalea Park, Summerville, SC

Polo Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Skirt~Tommy Hilfiger, Belt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Canvas Sneakers~Converse

Polo Shirt~Old Navy, Shorts(cutoff)~The CHildrens's Place, Canvas Sneakers~Converse

Polo Shirt~Izod(thrifted), Chino Shorts~Polo Ralph Lauren, Watch~Timex, Canvas Sneakers~Aldo, Belt~Army Navy Surplus

And how can you talk about Wimbledon without talking about the traditional spectator treat: Strawberries and Cream. Over the fortnight, vendors will go through about 2 million strawberries and a little over 1,800 gallons of cream. Now while I've never actually been there, I've made it at home many times. But as you know, nothing compares to actually being there while eating it. It's a delightful little snack with tons of flavor. And it looks good too. Sometimes too pretty to eat. OK, maybe not...

Button Down Shirt~H&M, Sunglasses~H&M, Jewelry~Polo Ralph Lauren

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Stripes

When things start to get all hot and sticky during the summer, it seems as if there's no relief. No short sleeve linens, nor breathable jersey polos can quite do the trick. Your only left with 2 viable options. You could either take a stab at tank tops which after seeing Snoop Dogg parade around in one literally scarred me for life. Or you can try a T-shirt. Sometimes they get a bad rap as some may look at them as a lazy move. But that depends on three things. How does it fit? What kind is it? And what's the supporting cast?

1. The fit. It should fit as snug as your dress shirts and polos. The sleeves should hit around the mid part of your biceps. The bottom hem should finish no more than 2 inches below the belt. Any shorter and you will be flashing your stomach all day long. Any longer and you have to tuck it in. And if you tuck it in then you end up looking like a cop (no offense to law enforcement). Lastly, when you try it on (yes, its important to try these on before buying) make sure that there isn't any funny looking stretching around the armpits. Every brand is cut different. It may fit everywhere else but look off under the pits. If this is the case, then it's best to just walk away. I once had a friend compare it to looking like you have a bra on. And as a man, that's not exactly the look your going for.

2. What kind is it?
If you plan on wearing it more than once than buying a cheap one isn't really a good idea. They end up looking all droopy or they shrink to the size of a toddler. Easy test. If it feels cheap, it probably is cheap. It should have a little weight to it, a little stretchyness, and soft to the touch. Honestly, it's just one of those things that you just "know" when its right. After the sour, its really easy to pick out the sweet.

3. What's the supporting cast? 
Believe it or not, t-shirts can also be dressed up. It can be used in many occasions. And to help punch things up a little, you should grab one in the classic colorway: blue and white sailor stripes. Along with having a nautical theme, its just something that "looks" like summer. I got my hands on an inexpensive (but not cheap) one about a month ago and have worn it in many different ways. I decided to highlight on 3 of the most popular. 

1. To the Beach.
Wearing a striped t-shirt with your swim trunks at the beach gives you a smart look. Just make sure that the trunks are mostly solid or the look will come off a little busy. And like I said in a previous post, any beach worth its salt is going to have a plethora of shops and restaurants nearby. So when beach time is over, just pull your shirt back on and grab you so some grub.

Photos taken at Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island, SC

On Me: Sailor Striped T-shirt~H&M, Swim Trunks~Polo Ralph Lauren, Boat Shoes~Sperry Top-Sider, Watch~Timex, Sunglasses~H&M, Madras Tote Bag~LL Bean
On Daughter: Bathing Suit~Polo Ralph Lauren, Chinos~Polo Ralph Lauren, Nylon Belt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Sandals~Gap

2. Out and About/Weekend Stuff
 This one is probably my favorite way to do it. Sailor striped t-shirt, slim chinos, and white canvas sneakers. So easy even a caveman can do it. This look was also a favorite of the genius painter Pablo Picasso. But you don't have to be an iconic world famous painter to pull this off. 

Photo courtesy of
Photos taken in Dowtown District, Summerville, SC

Sailor Striped T-shirt~H&M, Chinos~JCrew, Watch~Nautica, Sunglasses~H&M, Canvas Sneakers~Aldo

3. Smart Casual/Night Out
And as promised , there is a way to dress up a tshirt. Even though the summer can have some very brutal days, if you're in a coastal area the evenings can turn deceptively cool. So that's a great time to throw on an unlined or half-lined navy blazer. Finish off the look with some white jeans and penny loafers and you'll be sure to turn some heads....for the right reason.

Photos taken  at Harbor Town Lighthouse, Hilton Head Island, SC

Sailor Striped T-shirt~H&M, Jeans~Lands End Canvas, Blazer~Maxx's, Sunglasses~H&M, Watch~Timex, Loafers~Bass

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Man Up

Lately I've been noticing a trend in guys. A very bad trend I must say. Simply put, there are things that many men my age and older cant do. No I'm not talking about things like extracting an infected tooth or performing open heart surgery. But I'm talking about the simple things. Like how to change your tires, check your oil, tie a tie, etc. I guess the most obvious reason would be that there's a shortage of fathers in the home. But I'll try to dig a little deeper. Because in this day and age, there isn't one single piece of information that cant be found if you want to find it. The almighty Google has you covered. So I think it's just laziness. Which is probably one of the most, if not the most, unattractive qualities a man can have. Maybe having a third arm is a rough one to overcome as well.

But all joking aside, I was fortunate enough to have a great dad. One that taught me a lot of things growing up. So I decided that I'm going to do the same thing with my son. Because I want to make sure that he's well equipped to function is this world when he gets older.

So with Fathers Day right around the corner, I thought that it would be fitting to put a challenge out there to all the dads who have sons to "man up". Teach your boys how to be men. Also, teach them some of the little things. Teach them about your interests. Help them become cultured. Help them understand that there is a huge world of opportunities out there. Let them know you believe in them. Give them confidence. It will make you proud when they're grown.

And for the guys who don't have sons yet, theres a great book out there that gives a lot of tips. "Rules for My Unborn Son" Some of the tips are of the tongue in cheek nature. And then there are others that are truly valuable. The book may look thick but I finished it in under an hour. For dads and dads to be, I think you should go find it at your local library and give it a look. Honestly, I think it's well worth it to purchase it just so you can have it for reference.

At any rate, I decided to document me teaching my 5 year old son Isaiah a few of the many things my dad taught me.

1. How to play Chess

Chess is known as the thinking mans game. It teaches you how to be patient, predictive, influential, and aggressive. My dad taught me when I was in 5th grade and I proceeded to take the class by storm while everyone else was still stuck on checkers.

On Me: Dress Shirt~H&M, Chinos~JCrew, Loafers~Bass, Watch~Tommy Hilfiger
On Son:Oxford Button Down Shirt~The Childrens Place, Chinos~The Children's Place, Loafers~The Children's Place

2. How to drive.

I think I was about 4 or 5. My dad had a navy blue '73 Chevy Monte Carlo. It was as clean as sugar. He took great care of it. I've been told about stories of him driving so slow down dirt roads that babies could crawl faster than he moved. And to top it off, once he got to the end of the dirt road he would pull over and apply another coat of Armour All to the tires. That's precious. My point is, he thought of me so much that he allowed me to sit in his lap one day at such a young age attempt to steer. Needless to say, I failed. We were in a ditch quicker than Maurice Clarett's NFL career. Actually my son did a lot better than I did.

Easter of 1987. My dad and his '73 Monte Carlo

Me and my older brother. I'm the short one. I just turned a year old.

On Me:Polo Shirt~Hollister, Madras Shorts~Polo Ralph Lauren, Watch~Timex
On Son: Polo Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Madras Shorts~Polo Ralph Lauren

3. Tying a Tie.

This is a big one. I'm not really sure what the big deal is. There are over a million you tube videos on how to do this. However, like I previously said before...laziness. Anyway, no super cool story about this one. I got my first real tie for Christmas around the age of 10 and that's when he taught me. If I remember correctly, I think I caught on pretty fast. Who would have thought I'd end up being into fashion.

On Me:Oxford Button Down Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Tie~Gap(thrifted), Jeans~Lands End Canvas, Watch~Timex
On Son:Oxford Buton Down Shirt, Chaps, Tie~JCrew, Jeans~Gap

4. Favorite Food.

I was really excited to teach my son this one simply because I remember when my dad first introduced one of his to me. This may surprise you but no, it wasn't cheesecake. My dad taught me about honey buns. I don't  really remember the origin but it was just one of those things where I was just doing everything I saw my dad do. He was notorious for keeping a little cupboard of snacks right beside the recliner. It was always well stocked. Honey buns a plenty. And then one day i saw him put cheese on it. It blew my mind. But like I said before, I just wanted to do what he did. I tried it, I loved it. It was my favorite treat for years. Until of course I discovered cheesecake. But an icy white honey bun with good ole American cheddar still holds a place close to my heart. I was really undecided on which one to use for this post. But lets be serious. You already know what time it is...

On Me: Bengal Striped Button Down Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Chino Shorts(cutoff)~Polo Ralph Lauren, Boat Shoes~Sperry Top-Sider, Watch~Timex
On Son: Bengal Striped Button Down Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Chino Shorts(cutoff)~Gap, Boat Shoes~Sperry Top-Sider

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

["There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."]
-- Sir Rannulph Fiennes

Lately we've been getting hammered with the rain. It kind of sucks actually. Because this is the time of year that's perfect for outdoor activities. But its also the time when the most pop up showers occur. Being a maniac for random information, I looked at the historic averages for this area. And sure enough June, July, and August typically gets the most inches of rain. So what better time to give you guys a rundown of how to beat the rain in style?

1. Light Rain.

Whenever there's a light drizzle or water on the ground from a downpour earlier in the day, I reach for a pair of boat shoes. While they may be offered in dozens of colorways, I say get a pair in classic brown leather and throw them on when the conditions call for it. Yes they're waterproof but just remember, even though their slogan is "Get Wet", I wouldn't advise wearing these in a downpour since you will be (or at least you should be) wearing these without socks. Don't worry, I've got you covered for monsoon weather further down.

Madras Plaid Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Jeans~Lands End Canvas, Jacket~Sperry Top-Sider, Boat Shoes~Sperry Top-Sider, Umbrella~Sperry Top-Sider, Watch~Timex, Belt~Dockers(thrifted)

2. Heavier than Light, Lighter than a Monsoon.

When it starts to get to what I call Level 2 rain I go to my beeswax leather desert boots. These things take a lickin and keep on tickin. The leather is indestructible and you actually want them to get scuffed. They look better that way. But a major plus is that you can also pull them off with a dressed up look as well. For example, Lets say your walking out your door about to head to the office when you realize its raining cats and dogs out there. 

Dress Shoes just won't cut it. So what do you do? Most people will just grab an umbrella and go on their merry way. What would I do? I would never wear nice leather dress shoes in the rain, They're more delicate and require a little more care. So along with my umbrella, I change into my desert boots and throw my shoes in a bag and just change into them when I get to the office. Or perhaps an even better idea is to just always keep a pair under your desk. That way, your supple leather stays pristine, and you don't have to go around wearing Wellingtons with your nice suit.

Spread Collar Dress Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Trousers~Express, Blazer~Max's, Desert Boots~Clarks, Loafers(from earlier)~Bass, Tie~Jack Krawcheck(thrifted), Tie Bar~Meeting Street, Duffel Bag~Cutter & Buck, Umbrella~Sperry Top-Sider

3. Monsoon.

When theres extremely heavy rain, this is how I picture it: I imagine some little flying elf who happens to live in the clouds. And once they're filled with water he extracts from his back pocket the largest knife that could ever be imagined. One that was so grand, so shiny, and so sharp that it would make O.J. Simpson jealous....(sorry, but that's funny). And the elf just slices the clouds open one by one and millions of gallons of water come falling down all at once. Your best bet is to take cover. But if you must go out, you have only one respectable choice. Bean Boots. Leon Leonwood Bean has been making the same exact boots since 1912. Originally made for hunters because of their lightweight and epic-like durability, they've also become quite popular to the preps. They come in sizes ranging from ankle height to a full 12 inches. I opted for the 10 inch  version and it was love at first wear. Primarily I wear them in the winter as they can get pretty warm. But on those days when the flying elf goes to slicing and dicing, I have no choice.

Gingham Shirt~Polo Ralph Lauren, Denim Jacket~Levis, Jeans~Lands End Canvas, Bean Boots~LL Bean, Watch~Timex, Umbrella~Sperry Top-Sider